We have studied the circular photogalvanic effect (CPGE) in Cu/Bi bilayers. When a circularly polarized light in the visible range is irradiated to the bilayer from an oblique incidence, we find a photocurrent that depends on the helicity of light. Such photocurrent appears in a direction perpendicular to the light plane of incidence but is absent in the parallel configuration. The helicity dependent photocurrent is significantly reduced for a Bi single layer film, and the effect is nearly absent for a Cu single layer film. Conventional interpretation of the CPGE suggests the existence of spin–momentum locked band(s) of Rashba type in the Cu/Bi bilayer. In contrast to previous reports on the CPGE studied in other systems, however, the light energy used here to excite the carriers is much larger than the bandgap of Bi. Moreover, the CPGE of the Cu/Bi bilayer is larger when the energy of the light is larger: the helicity dependent photocurrent excited with a blue light is nearly two times larger than that of a red light. We therefore consider that the CPGE of the Cu/Bi bilayer may have a different origin compared to conventional systems.

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